Tennessee Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed a measure Monday that would have made English the city's official language, saying it was unconstitutional, unnecessary and mean-spirited.
The measure passed 23-14 last week by the Metro Council required all government documents to be in English, except when multilingual communications are required by federal rules or are needed "to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare."
Opponents and supporters of the ordinance agreed it was largely a symbolic slap at illegal immigration that had no significant effect.
Purcell said his legal staff had advised him the bill violated the U.S. and state constitutions and would be costly to defend.
Researchers say Nashville's foreign-born population has grown 350 percent since 1990.